In this method, students teach each other. Peer teaching is one of
the most effective ways to learn content and practice many important
skills such as explaining complex information, asking questions, and
listening. This approach is designed to allow students to work together
to learn a large amount of information in a short time (oftentimes in
place of a long lecture or presentation). It can be used to teach and
learn about multiple related concepts or cases, several key ideas
relating to a particular concept, and multiple primary or secondary
- Select three or four concepts or cases you want the students to grasp.
- Prepare a compilation worksheet or capture sheet
that has space for each of the concepts. Make enough copies for every
student. You should also prepare a separate handout or reading on each
of the topics you want students to learn. The handout should also
include three or four questions you want students to answer about the
concept or case. (Alternatively, you could list these questions on the
- Put students into groups. If you select three topics, you need three
students in each group, if you select four topics, you need four
students per group, etc. Assign a letter to each group. These are the
students’ home groups. Ask students to write their home group letter at the top of their worksheet.
- Then assign one student in each home group to become an expert on
each concept.* (If you have uneven numbers, assign two students to the
same topic.) Confirm students know which topics they are assigned.
- Now ask students to move so they are sitting with others students
who will become experts on the same topic. These new groups are called expert groups.
Students assigned to the first concept should sit in one area of the
room, and the second in another area, etc. Depending on how many
students are in your class, you may want to further divide the expert
groups so they include no more than three-to-five students.
- Give each expert group the reading about their topic. Ask students
to read it and discuss it with their group members. They should then
decide which portions of the material the students in the other groups
need to learn about. They should create a list of talking points to
teach other students.
- After the allotted “expert” time, ask students to return to their
home (letter) groups. Each student will be asked to spend 5–7 minutes
teaching their other home group members about their case or concept.
Other students should not copy the papers of the experts. Instead, they
should listen, take notes, and ask questions.
- After students teach their home groups, every student should have
studied one case or concept in depth and learned about several others.
Conclude the activity with a whole-class discussion about how the
concepts relate to each other, or to emphasize especially important
*This strategy suggests each student is responsible for one concept
or case. If you have an uneven number of students or if you have some
students that would struggle with serving as a solo expert to teach
others, you may wish to create home groups that are larger than the
number of concepts. In that case, you could double up on experts for